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Siemens Mobility and Mitsubishi Electric will jointly develop SiC traction technology

Siemens Mobility and Mitsubishi Electric will jointly develop SiC traction technology
photo: Siemens Mobility/Siemens Mobility and Mitsubishi Electric will jointly develop SiC traction technology
11 / 05 / 2022

Siemens Mobility and Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V. have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate in the field of SiC power module technology to enable efficient and sustainable transportation and electrical energy savings in the transportation sector.

Power semiconductors play a key role in railway vehicles, from trams to high-speed trains. Standard silicon-based power semiconductors are being continuously developed, and new technologies are being advanced, such as the use of SiC (silicon carbide), which will enable even greater efficiency and the greatest reduction in weight in future. It is the railroad market that is stimulating demand for more efficient energy conversion technology.

Mitsubishi Electric sets new technological standards with leading SiC technology and decarbonises SIEMENS Mobility railways.

Mitsubishi Electric’s SiC devices have proven long-term reliability in the most demanding of applications such as traction inverters in trains. The potential for energy savings through the use of Mitsubishi Electric's wide range of SiC power devices in railway technology exists particularly in the area of traction drives. In particular, the full SiC 3300 V power modules contribute to energy saving and the downsizing of traction inverters. The suitable SiC chipset for high-speed switching is used in the standardized LV100 package, which provides low stray inductance and easy paralleling capability. The power losses of LV100 full SiC modules can be reduced by approximately 75 % compared to the conventional Si power modules during the inverter operation. As a result, the efficiency of the traction inverter is increased.

Siemens has always been a pioneer in the construction of electrically powered trains. Their 140 years of experience forms the basis for the new Mireo Plus regional train platform, which enables operators to run their operations efficiently and economically without local CO2 emissions. Using the innovative technology of the battery-powered Mireo Plus, Siemens Mobility enables the electrification of railway lines even without a continuous overhead contact line. SiC technology is particularly beneficial for regional trains with an innovative battery hybrid drive for use on rail sections with, or without an overhead contact line. It reduces weight to a minimum, optimizes performance, and boosts the efficiency of multiple units in terms of mileage and range. With an energetically optimized drive system, the energy absorption from the grid is nearly 10 per cent less than that of today’s vehicles, thanks to the use of SiC components. SiC's greatest potential is in its higher energy efficiency and reduced weight.